Q: When’s the best time to plant fruit trees and bushes?
A; Now, although if the soil isn’t frozen or too wet, bare-rooted fruit bushes and trees can be planted any time during their dormant season – which means right through winter and probably as late as March.
Container-grown plants are even more accommodating because they are ready to be planted out at any time – as long as the ground conditions are favourable.
For the best chance, get the soil into top condition .Dig a deep, wide hole (plenty big enough to hold the roots), break up the subsoil and then incorporating plenty of well-rotted manure or compost.
If the tree is grown on dwarfing rootstocks, you’ll need to support it with a stake, so hammer this in beforehand.
Any grafted fruit trees should be planted with the grafting joint above soil level; plant it below, and there’s a good chance the rootstock will start to root, which will affect the fruiting capacity of the tree.
Pack down the soil and then tie the tree to its stake. Keep checking the tightness of the bond – too slack and the tree will rock; too tight and it will cut into the bark. Water well and apply a thick mulch of compost.